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Wed 24 November 2021, 11:30|Tottenham Hotspur

It’s a waiting game for Antonio Conte on the extent of Cristian Romero’s injury.

The central defender was forced off in Argentina’s World Cup qualifier against Brazil last week and missed Sunday’s win against Leeds. Antonio confirmed he’s unavailable for our trip to Slovenia to take on NS Mura in the UEFA Europa Conference League on Thursday evening (5.45pm UK) - he would have missed out through suspension, anyway - alongside Giovani Lo Celso and Dane Scarlett, who also picked up knocks on international duty.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of training on Wednesday, Antonio reported: “We are waiting for another scan (on Cristian). Honestly, I think his injury is a bit serious, but we have to wait. It’s an injury that’s more serious than Giovani Lo Celso and Dane Scarlett. We have to wait until the next scan and then the doctor can give us more information about his recovery.”

Antonio has made it clear that he will make changes during this busy schedule - from NS Mura, it’s 12 matches in 38 days up to Watford on New Year’s Day - and confirmed that Ryan Sessegnon, back from injury against Leeds, will start.

I can’t wait to see his performance because he’s a good player, a talented player, very young with great space for improvement

Antonio on Ryan Sessegnon

“Ryan, in my opinion, has great potential,” said Antonio. “He’s ready to start tomorrow and he will start the game. I can’t wait to see his performance because he’s a good player, a talented player, very young with great space for improvement.”

Asked about the squad travelling out to Slovenia, Antonio replied: “All the players available will come with us and they must be ready to play against Mura.

“I said on Sunday that I need to rotate because players are a bit tired, they’ve played many games, also for their national teams, and we’ve worked a lot in the last two weeks.

“There are players who need game time. Personally, I need to know the players much better, there are players I need to see during a game, during a competition. For us, this competition is important. We want to take it seriously, this fixture, and we want to go through to the next step.”

Victory over NS Mura would take us to 10 points in Group G. If group leaders Rennes manage to beat Vitesse at home on Thursday and we win in Slovenia, we will be through to the next phase of the competition, either the knockout round play-off or the Round of 16.

Group G - remaining fixtures

25 November
NS Mura v Spurs
Rennes v Vitesse

9 December
Spurs v Rennes
Vitesse v NS Mura